Nick Cave explains himself

Those who don’t subscribe to the Red Hand Files of Nick Cave, should read a couple.

This is the 200th blog in the series , they come out of questions from his fans (mine come out of stuff I come across as I don’t have fans. But I seem to write for the same reason as Nick, though not as well.

People think I blog to engage people, but it’s the other way round. I blog to stop me withdrawing from the world , into the kind of introspection that I am sure would lead to me losing my “wellbeing” (fine thanks!)

Read this – and if you like it – sign up to the files – you can do this from this link.

The only people I know who get them  are me and my son. I’d be interested in hearing from you if you have already subscribed – or if you read this piece and were moved by it.


The Red Hand Files
ISSUE #200 / JULY 2022

So, the next Red Hand File is #200! What are The Red Hand Files? I mean what are you trying to do with them? By the way, I love them. They help.
JOHN, LANCASHIRE, UKI just feel so fucking empty. So hollow. What can I do?
Dear John and Marina,

It might be worth bearing in mind, Marina, that this emptiness that you feel, that we all feel to a greater or lesser degree, is not a condition in itself, rather it is an indicator of our own self-absorption, and signals a need. It asks something of us, this emptiness, this hollowness. It is a call. It is a call to meaning, and a call to love. It requires of us that we reach beyond our own dejection and attend to the condition of the world.

For me, personally, this is the gift of The Red Hand FilesBy their very nature your questions draw me out of my own self-absorption, by demanding an engagement with you all. This is not always easy, but a call to meaning rarely is – how happy we can feel in our own misery! How cosy! How safe! – and so I read the hundreds of questions that come in each week and do my best to reply, regardless of my state of mind, truthfully and in good faith.

You ask me, John, what I want from The Red Hand FilesWell, the answer is this – I want to facilitate, in some small way, a mutual journey toward meaning; to decrease the dimensions of our emptiness and draw us closer to love and to beauty. I understand that these sound like grandiose claims, but they are not. This common project – to improve matters – is available to all of us, at every moment, and in a multitude of ways, and exists in the smallest kindness, the most rudimentary act of tolerance, or in the simplest generosity.

Today, John and Marina, my advice is to go out and save the world. Smile and say ‘hello’ to the mean old bastard who lives next door, or the cranky cow at the corner shop, for they suffer too, and watch this small act of unsolicited kindness gather momentum and begin its journey around the world – watch it thunder and roar through the ages and change the nature of the cosmos itself.

More grandiose claimsHey, it’s my 200th post! Today, I can say what I like. Thank you everyone for improving the general condition of my life! I hope The Red Hand Files go some small way to improving yours. It is impossible to exaggerate just how unbelievably grateful I am to you all.

With endless love, Nick

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to Nick Cave explains himself

  1. Duncan Watson says:

    Thanks for pointing us to Nick’s blog Henry – I will be subscribing now! Duncan

  2. Martin T says:

    All of us have had our mental health struggles whether we acknowledge them or not and I for one am grateful that you are bringing Nick Cave and others to the attention of a wider audience.
    You do yourself a disservice. You have at least one fan.

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